How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make - leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone - we all dwell in a house of one room - the world with the firmament for its roof - and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.
With thee conversing I forget all time, All seasons, and their change,--all please alike. Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun When first on this delightful land he spreads His orient beams on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth After soft showers; and sweet the coming on Of grateful ev'ning mild; then silent night With this her solemn bird and this fair moon, And these the gems of heaven, her starry train: But neither breath of morn when she ascends With charm of earliest birds, nor rising sun On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flower, Glist'ring with dew, nor fragrance after showers, Nor grateful ev'ning mild, nor silent night With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet.
She what was honour knew, And with obsequious majesty approv'd My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower I led her blushing like the morn; all heaven And happy constellations on that hour Shed their selectest influence; the earth Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill; Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub.
Now came still evening on, and twilight gray Had in her sober livery all things clad; Silence accompany'd; for beast and bird, They to their grassy couch, these to their nests, Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; She all night long her amorous descant sung; Silence was pleas'd. Now glow'd the firmament With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon, Rising in clouded majesty, at length Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light, And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
But peaceful was the night Wherein the Prince of Light His reign of peace upon the earth began. The winds with wonder whist, Smoothly the waters kiss, Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean,- Who now hath quite forgot to rave, While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave. The stars, with deep amaze, Stand fixed in steadfast gaze, Bending one way their precious influence; And will not take their flight, For all the morning light, Or Lucifer that often warmed them thence; But in their glimmering orbs did glow, Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go. And, though the shady gloom Had given day her room, The sun himself withheld his wonted speed, And hid his head for shame, As his inferior flame The new-enlightened world no more should need: He saw a greater Sun appear Than his bright throne or burning axeltree could bear.
To the Nightingale O Nightingale! that on yon bloomy spray Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still, Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill, While the jolly hours lead on propitious May. Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day, First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill, Portend success in love; O, if Jove's will Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh; As thou from year to year hast sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why: Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.